Westrop History Curriculum – Dig Deeper into the past!
What is our approach to History?
Westrop Primary and Nursery School's History learning journey adopts a cross-curricular approach towards teaching and learning. Underlying this approach is the belief that all children should work together to become better historians who are able to question and interpret events of the past effectively. Westrop endeavour to achieve this with a practical, enquiry-based approach to History, exploring artefacts, and sources to discover the answers to historical questions.
How is History Taught at Westrop?
Exploring chronology – Children explore a timeline during every topic they study. This could be a photographic timeline, artefact timeline or the more familiar timeline using dates. Each timeline puts the children’s previous learning into context. In KS1 children will be introduced to several different time periods through their topics, such as exploring the Great Fire of London through a study of "Bright Lights, Big City". As children enter KS2 they should be able to start placing periods on a timeline and identifying if, for example, the Victorians lived before or after the ancient Greeks.
Range and depth of historical knowledge – Children develop a wide range and depth of historical knowledge during every topic that they study. This is achieved through an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. This could be through presenting a history mystery such as what is this artefact, who made it and how was it made? Children are then encouraged to explore their own interpretations of the mystery before embarking on research using sources, books and reliable internet websites.
Interpretations of history – Children are provided with opportunities to explore and distinguish between different sources and evaluate their usefulness. In KS1 children explain similarities and differences between the past and present and start to think about why historical figures made the choices that they did. As children enter KS2 they explore in more depth the reliability of historical accounts such as the description of Boudica written by Cassius Dio through the study of Romans, and offer explanations as to why differences in historical accounts may occur.
Historical enquiry - We at Westrop feel it is important that children aren’t simply ‘taught’ the history. We firmly believe that the most important part of becoming an engaged historian is learning how to glean information from evidence in the form of both primary and secondary sources. We also believe that it is equally important that children learn to ask questions for themselves. We provide a clear scaffold to enable our children to gain confidence in this area with these five steps.
- Provide evidence – an artefact, painting, document, account or photograph.
- Ask questions – allow the children to explore the evidence and ask their own questions about it.
- Suggest answers – allow peers and groups to suggest answers through discussion and presentation of the evidence.
- Provide more evidence – through research as a class, group or individual
- Refine answers - through research the answers will be refined and ready to be presented formally in books, poster, presentation or other format.
How to Help Your Child at Home
All children, families and the places we live have a history so developing key skills is not as daunting as you may think. Talking about past events is key to the development of history in young children. We are extremely lucky to live in such a historical town; we have such a rich and varied history dating right back to the Anglo Saxons. Our small museum (in the old bank building) is part of our local historical society and their website is full of interesting facts and photographs. As part of our wider and neighbouring counties we are so lucky to have access to historical places of interest, many of which coincide with our history curriculum - Stonehenge, Avebury, Cirencester’s Corinium museum and amphitheatre and WWII bunker, Cheltenham’s Sudeley castle and the Steam museum to name but a few. School subscriptions to Purple Mash also have a vast array of useful tools linked to topics that will aid your child in their learning at home.
Useful websites links
Make a coronavirus time capsule – Free
Museums From Around The World –Virtual Online Tours
British Museum- Free Videos
BBC Radio 4 – History of the world in 100 Objects podcasts
Access to 500 Museums and Art Galleries – Free, Online
Open Culture – 6000 digital history books for children to read online